Question: Why do my joints pop and snap while I'm stretching?
I'm a new dancer. I try to stretch every night so that I can do my splits soon. However, it scares me when I'm stretching because my joints make all sorts of popping and snapping sounds. Is this normal?
Most pops, cracks and snaps you hear while stretching are harmless and probably painless. They are actually the sounds of joints, ligaments or tendons. When a joint moves, the position of a tendon or ligament can change. When the tendon or ligament returns to its normal position it creates a popping sound.
Joint popping and cracking can also be caused by gases escaping from joints. This fluid, which contains gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, acts as a lubricant. When the joint pops or cracks, the capsule stretches and gas is being released.
If you feel pain or rubbing along with the cracking and popping, check with a doctor. Otherwise, joint popping and cracking is usually harmless.